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Martin Luther, Part 12: The Knight (continued)

The Writer and Translator

Martin Luther was not a man who could remain idle. There was work to be done. He couldn’t preach, but he could write. And it was here, in the “Land of the Birds,” that he did some of his most important writing. At first he had only his Hebrew and Greek Testaments, which he managed to put in his knapsack just before he was kidnapped near Eisenach. At various times Melanchthon and Spalatin secretly provided him with some of the books that he requested.  Continue reading

Martin Luther, Part 11: The Knight

When Elector Frederick saw that things were not going well at the diet, he feared for Luther’s safety. He knew that his enemies would try to seize and kill him as soon as the safe conduct was no longer in effect. He told one of his trusted knights to see to it that Luther would be taken to a safe hiding place. He said, “I want you to arrange to hide Luther somewhere in Saxony, but don’t tell me where he is. I don’t want to be able to answer any questions regarding his whereabouts.” Luther and Amsdorf knew something of what would happen on the way to Wittenberg, but they were not told the details. Continue reading

Negative Attitudes

What parent has not been on the receiving end of a child’s negative attitude? An attitude problem often shows itself in grumpiness, looks of disgust, and a general air of unhappiness. The apostle Paul knew about attitude problems when he instructed his friends in Philippi, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). What parents wouldn’t be overjoyed if their children acted that way when told to do chores? Paul added that this kind of positive attitude comes out of love for the Lord. Continue reading

Martin Luther, Part 10: The Edict of Worms

The Edict of Worms

Charles V was angry. The next day he summoned the electors and princes to ask their advice. He had already made up his mind to put Luther under the imperial ban. He said, “I wish to proceed against him as a notorious heretic, and ask you to declare yourselves as you promised me.” But the electors thought it wise not to condemn Luther without making another effort to persuade him to recant. They knew that Luther had many followers who would come to his defense. Some were powerful German princes. The emperor finally was persuaded to appoint a small committee to confer with Luther. In the discussions with that committee Luther made it very clear that he would recant only if he was proven wrong on the basis of the Bible and clear reason. That the committee would not accept. Continue reading

Martin Luther, Part 9: Luther Before the Diet

Both Luther and Elector Frederick had requested that the hearing take place before a committee appointed by the diet. At first the diet agreed to this, but on April 17 Luther was told that he was to make his appearance before the diet itself. He was also told to conduct himself courteously and not to speak except when answering questions. At four o’clock, Pappenheim, the imperial marshal and Sturm, the herald, conducted Luther to the episcopal palace. The streets were crowded with people so that they had to use side streets and alleys to get to the palace. After waiting two hours, Pappenheim and Sturm led Luther into the court chamber. He was accompanied by his friend and legal advisor, Jerome Schurf. Continue reading

Martin Luther, Part 8: The Accused (continued)

The Summons from the Emperor

Luther had dared to defy the pope. What would happen now? On January 3, 1521, Pope Leo X announced the formal excommunication of Martin Luther and his followers. The pope thereby decreed that everyone was to consider Luther and his supporters heretics and heathen. The church had excommunicated Luther, but that was where its power ended. It could not imprison him or punish him by death. Continue reading

Trust and the Parent-Child Relationship

All relationships are based on trust. Children want and need to trust their parents. Parents want (and need) to trust their children. Trust makes honest communication possible; it builds relational bridges; it gives meaning to our respective roles; it provides security; it stimulates responsibility and caring. If a child never learns to trust, the results can be devastating. Continue reading